We’re back for May! Join us May 18th at ATX Hackerspace for the next installment of Dorkbot awesomeness!
Special celebration after!
Three great talks!
Making Your Own Mobile Phone for Fun and Privacy
Brandon will be talking about the open source hardware mobile phone project being developed by his non-profit, the Operator Foundation. It’s a phone that anyone can build easily. Building your own phone pulls back the veil of mystery that we attribute to these magical devices. You also know exactly what your phone is doing, so you don’t have to worry about tracking, hacking, or leaking of your personal data.
Superhuman Strength with a Shoestring Budget… and Perhaps Actual Shoestrings
There is a lot of work ongoing in strength-enhancing exoskeletal systems in various corporations and universities, but the strategy is almost universally to build a wearable robot, analogous to the Iron Man suit of comics and movies. Such suits have a number of drawbacks, with tremendous power demand being the major concern. There are, however, alternative approaches that mimic biology, requiring much less power and leveraging the natural advantages of mammalian anatomy. I’ll discuss how much stronger human muscle is than most people realize, how your muscle fibers do it, and how we can use some of these biological tricks to build cheap, elegant, strength-enhancing exoskeletons with extremely low power demand.
How to start an apparel business
With 15 years of industry experience in tech and a wealth of knowledge in user-centered design, what’s the best way to take advantage of all that? Why, move into a completely different industry and start an apparel business, of course! Laura will be talking about everything you always wanted to know pursuing your passion in life!
Dorkbot 55: Learning with Machines and Borgfest’s Social Robot Social after party at ATX Hackerspace!
Monday, April 20th at 7pm
ATX Hackerspace: 9701 Dessau Rd Suite 304, Austin, Texas 78754
Dorkbot is back and we have a new home! April’s Dorkbot features an amazing group of presenters and a VERY special Social Robot Social after party featuring social robot creations by members of Borgfest after the presentations!
April’s Dorkbot will feature three amazing talks about interactive learning machines! After the show, Borgfest will have some social robots to play and interact with, and Mickey Delp will open up the Music Machine for the audience to make their own sounds!
Doors at 7pm
Talks start at 730pm
Plenty of parking!
I Got No Strings: Puppeteer Removal through Machine Learning on a Social Robot
by Brad Knox
Brad will talk about research at MIT, where he and others investigated whether robots can be effectively programmed for autonomous social interaction through a machine-learning method called “learning from demonstration”. In this case, the method involves learning from Wizard-of-Oz teleoperation, in which the robot’s human interaction partner is unaware of the human puppeteer. To test this technique—Learning from the Wizard— it was used to create an autonomous robot that acts as a playful learning companion for young children. Brad will share what he did and what was learned.
Brad Knox is prototyping tiny, lifelike toy robots, which he hopes are coming soon to a home (many homes!) near you. Before that, he was a postdoctoral researcher at the MIT Media Lab, computer science PhD student at UT Austin, and an undergrad studying psychology at Texas A&M University. His research spanned machine learning, human-robot interaction, and psychology, with a focus on machine learning algorithms that learn through human interaction.
The Music Machine
by Mickey Delp
Mickey Delp will show and talk about the creation of his new MUSIC MACHINE, a walk up and play music device created to show people of all ages, with very little instruction, how to create music and change sounds. The Music Machine made its debut at the 2015 SXSW Create event: http://
by Ray Renteria
Ray will show and talk about his interactive robot, DAR-1, which was shown at the Robot Petting Zoo during SXSW: http://
This month we will submerge ourselves under tidal waves to explore the magic of sea life… from subsea ecosystems to sea-based agriculture. Let’s dive in!
Farming Seaweed in Austin, Texas: the Tech Below the Surface
Lewis Weil (You know. From Nerd Nite!)
Austin, Texas is home to the only inland culinary seaweed farm in North America. Lewis will for the first time give a public presentation on the technology that makes my farm possible. Weil’s seaweed is on plates in fancy restaurants, has been featured on Slashdot, and every bit of it used to be grown in his garage. It is now in a greenhouse at an urban farm in south Austin.
Lewis Weil talks about aquariums way too much. He has a real job and other interests and stuff. But given alcohol and a chance the conversation always turns to growing things in water. He has kept everything from microscopic algae, rare amazon fish, delicate corals, and sharks. He tries to maintain a façade of being a cool human being. All his best ideas start out as jokes.
Naturalistic Paludariums 101
Wiley Wiggins (You know. From Juegos Rancheros and other stuff!)
This is the story of a normal person who never planned on building enormous microcontroller-regulated biotopes in his home. The acquisition of a cute and unassuming amphibian friend started a slow decent down the hobby hole towards madness. Learn how to create rainforest zones within glass boxes in your own home, all watched over by machines of loving grace.
Wiley Wiggins is one of the organizers of the Juegos Rancheros indie videogame meetup, monthly at the North Door. You may know him from other stuff as well.
Under the C’s: Lessons Learned In The Trenches of a Library
Dustin Younse (our Current-and-soon-to-be-Former Dorkbot Overlord)
Libraries are more than just a collection of assorted, dusty books, and recent advances in technology have highlighted the role of the library as a repository of knowledge, not a repository of paper, ink and glue. We’ll take a quick look at some of the cool stuff happening right now, and in the near future.
Dustin is the Overlord of Dorkbot Austin, was, until recently, the Webmaster for the University of Texas Libraries, and is one heck of a cat dad, according to his ward Audrey.
Dorkbot is – As ALWAYS – a FREE and ALL AGES event.
If silent disco dance floors with touch sensitive 3D cubes, live projections, chiptunes, synths, and audio-visual interfaces designed with plenty of dials and knobs are your thing… you’re gonna need a change of pants for this month’s show.
DORKBOT 48: Count Chipula Attacks!
Clay Lilliard – is one of the four founding members of COLLABnART, and is here to make you “fall in love with the process” of making and showcasing killer art. COLLABnART has put together numerous events featuring interactive installations, screenprinting, live mural painting, live sculpting, video art projection, acro yoga and glass blowing, to name a few. http://www.collabnart.org/
Mike Behrman of TXchip – the sound tsunami AKA DJ battle champion “The Mysterious H” has returned to Austin and is here to geek out about interfacing old sound chips, making hybrid synths, and homebrewing hardware and software instruments for your ears’ delight. Check out other TXchip artists and events at: http://txchipmusic.com/
Mickey Delp – the chief inventor behind Delptronics talks to us about his interface design showcased at Fantastic Arcade. Delp’s customized surface for the arcade version of the video game Panoramical was the buzz of this year’s event. The Alamo Drafthouse described the experience as “creating instant compositions of audio and form, mountains rising and boiling away, clouds making way for stars and black rain.” http://delptronics.com/
Greg Cerveny Loves open source and DIY music technology. So he’s here to share his sliders, buttons, and knobs that make it easy to prototype new musical experiences. And a little of his vision for the future of DIY music tech. http://gregcerveny.com
RSVP on our Facebook page, if you do that kinda thing. Otherwise, just show up and have a good time!
Doors at 7, talks at 7:30
Dorkbot is — as always — a FREE and all ages event.